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View Poll Results: What is the most complicated method you use to track your performance?

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  • Don't track no stinkin' performance.

    10 19.61%
  • A sundial

    0 0%
  • Smileage per mileage

    3 5.88%
  • Kentucky windage

    1 1.96%
  • Perceived effort

    2 3.92%
  • Average speed

    8 15.69%
  • Modal speed

    0 0%
  • Heart rate monitor

    24 47.06%
  • Power meter

    3 5.88%
  • Ive had my VO2 max measured in a lab

    0 0%
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  1. #1
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Are HRM obsolete?

    I broke down and bought a heart rate monitor for my Garmin. I've looked over the data and noticed that most of my riding is done in Z2, which I suspect is why my dreaded average speed never seems to change much.

    I've looked at the posts here about improving one's performance. I'm sure interval training is helpful, and I'm sure hill repeats would be even better, but that sounds like work to me, and when I get a hankering to do stuff like that, I lie down until the feeling goes away.

    I've started using the HRM to tell me when to back off. I use the rollers here as poor mans intervals and try to go up them as quickly as I can, but back off as I enter Z4 so I don't blow.

    Anyway, anyone here using the heart rate monitor as a training device, or has it been replaced by the PM?

    BTW, there just is no way I'd spend $1000 on a power meter.

  2. #2
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    If you are a pro racer, then maybe a power meter is necessary. A HRM can be a useful tool even if it is not as accurate as a power meter.

    Hill repeats are a type of interval training. Any kind of optimal training program is going to hurt. If you don't want to hurt, you're probably going to ignore all the gadgets anyway, so just throw them away and focus on something simple hours or miles per week. Hours per week is nearly not as efficient as power or HRM, but if you're not racing, you probably don't care about being the best that you can be.

  3. #3
    Semper Fi, A way of life. qcpmsame's Avatar
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    Do not use anything to track my performance. I suppose the sundial would be the closest to my speed, though. Seriously, I thought long and hard about a HRM and a PM but I would rather spend my concentration or my riding right now. Not a Luddite just do not need anything to do this right now.

    Bill
    "I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me" Philippians 4:13

  4. #4
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    HRM is not obsolete, it tells you how your body is reacting to whatever work you are doing. PM tells you how much work you are doing, and is like a girlfriend who does not "fake it" so to speak. I agree that if you don't want to suffer any then you probably don't need either.

    But why not man up, get crazy, and go into zone three now and then?

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by billydonn View Post
    But why not man up, get crazy, and go into zone three now and then?
    Or Zone 4 and 5

  6. #6
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Is it possible to get to zone 4 from zone 2 without going through zone 3?

    From a zone 0 person.
    Gone - email me at dnvrfox@aol.com for new group of old 50+ folks

  7. #7
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    I track HR and power and have training stress metrics for each, TSS for power and TRIMP for HR. They have pretty good correlation and while I normally use power on the road bike I don't have a powermeter for the mountain bike so just use HR for that. I only do intervals on the road bike and use power for that.

    HR and perceived exertion work OK for setting the intensity of intervals but they don't allow you to track your progress. I can tell I'm progressing when I can bump up the intervals I do by a few watts each week.

  8. #8
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    Is it possible to get to zone 4 from zone 2 without going through zone 3?

    From a zone 0 person.
    Thinking about zone zero worries me a bit. I try very hard to avoid going there.

    There is a time to resign oneself
    to old age and infirmity. You first.
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  9. #9
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I have had an HRM for about 20 years on and off. Mainly a basic one that told me my current heart rate and max achieved on a ride. 13 year ago and I had a bypass and started using the monitor on every ride for confidence. Then I realised where my efficient Heart rate for rides and it showed me when I was putting in too much effort on the longer rides and also showed me when I was going for rides and only turning the pedals. So it did have a use for me to keep me in my working zone and not slacking or tiring myself out.

    Currently have a problem with my Garmin that I have to get sorted and as I have just got back to working on the bike after a winters layoff- I shall have to get the Garmin fixed so I can utilise the one usefull feature I use the HRM for. Don't use it for training- and I could not tell you what "Zones" are. I just use it to keep my self working on rides instead of slacking.
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  10. #10
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses. As a cyclist I crave suffering, but as I typically ride solo, I try not to push so hard I end up passing out, awakening to a Czech girl checking me on the cheek or whatever really goes on out there.

    I also need to corner our local cat 2 cardiologist and ask him just how hard I can push my fuel pump. My treating cardiologist, by no means a cyclist, toot me "not to go competitive". What that means is subject to considerable interpretation. Sure, I don't race, but does that mean my time "in the red" must be zero?

    Until I get those answers I'll try to keep my max in low Z4.

  11. #11
    Senior Member John_V's Avatar
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    I keep stats on all of my rides, but only because I have chronic anemia. I need to keep an eye on how my different rides affect my heart rate and how long I am in each of the zones at a specific rate. This lets me determine just how much to push myself and when to back down. My HRM does that for me.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Timtruro's Avatar
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    Got real hung up on avg speed a couple of years ago. Found that I was having a lot less fun, thinking about beating or improving the avg each ride. Made a conscious effort not to pay so much attention to this stat and found I enjoy the rides much more. Ido monitor HR from time to time, but basically just looking to ride different routes and distances and enjoy everything about being on 2 wheels!
    "If there are no cigars in heaven, I shall not go." -Mark Twain

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  13. #13
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    During the winter I train indoors with a computrainer, that, combined with a heart rate monitor, is my most high-tech performance monitoring.

    When outdoors, I use a combination of miles-per-month, average speed over a set route and my heart rate monitor.

    While I track all this data, most of my cycling is for pleasure and recreation. Combining fitness data with a relaxed riding schedule works for me.
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  14. #14
    Pedals, Paddles and Poles Daspydyr's Avatar
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    I think that a HRM is essential for the 50+ crowd. In April the HRM alerted me that Atrial Fib., had come out of hiding and I needed to visit the cardiologist. Plus its fun to see if I can stay Z5 for a while.

    Monitoring heart health at 50+ is big for us.
    I think its disgusting and terrible how people treat Lance Armstrong, especially after winning 7 Tour de France Titles while on drugs!

    I can't even find my bike when I'm on drugs. -Willie N.

  15. #15
    Legs; OK! Lungs; not! bobthib's Avatar
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    My cardiologist told me to keep my HR at 85% or below. So I have the Garmin set to alert me when I hit that. Now that I'm keto-adjusted I can't depend on my breathing to tell me I'm over extending.

    Wind sprints are the BEST way to build speed and endurance quickly. And it doesn't take much time on each ride. Start with a 5 or 10 min warm up, do 3 intervals of 30 seconds ALL OUT, followed by 30 seconds of rest. Rest for 3 min and repeat 2 more times. Cool down for 10 min. So that's about 40 min overall. Do that 3 times a week, then up it to 4 intervals, then 5 intervals a week later. Work up to 8 intervals if you can, each set x 3. Now you are doing 10m + 3 x [((8 x 30s all out) + (8 x 30s rest)) +3m] + 10m (sorry for the algbra) just under an hour 3 days a week. If you are doing club rides, work the intervals into the ride.

    At the end of the summer, you will be amazed how far you have progressed.

    This sort of a wind sprint interval training is proven over and over to be the fastest way to improve. Of course, there is diminishing returns, and once you have peaked out on these, other training will be needed to progress further. And progress will be slower.

    So for this sort of a workout, a HRM is not needed, only a timer. But if you have a HRM and record the results, you will see your HR drop over time for any given effort as compared to when you started.
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  16. #16
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    [QUOTE= I'm sure interval training is helpful, and I'm sure hill repeats would be even better, but that sounds like work to me, and when I get a hankering to do stuff like that, I lie down until the feeling goes away.QUOTE]

    ROFL!

  17. #17
    Senior Member rsacilotto's Avatar
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    I mostly use my HRM so I know when to back off - keep HR low on recovery rides, or if I'm climbing hard and I get towards 92-93% max rate, I will ease up a little bit to stay below anaerobic threshold. Alternatively, I can see if I'm working as hard as I think I am when I'm doing intervals. It's also good feedback for how my body is responding to the effort. I was riding last weekend, hot and humid, and I noticed that my HR was about 10 beats higher than it should have been for the speed, wind and grade. I was drinking plenty, but at the end of the ride I was light-headed and couldn't stop sweating. I'm thinking it was dehydration, which hasn't happened me to that extent before. The next time I notice my HR higher than it should be, I can see if it correlates to under-hydration and compensate.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by John_V View Post
    I keep stats on all of my rides, but only because I have chronic anemia. I need to keep an eye on how my different rides affect my heart rate and how long I am in each of the zones at a specific rate. This lets me determine just how much to push myself and when to back down. My HRM does that for me.
    I also keep stats on all my rides using Garmin Connect and my 705. I can also use this to follow unfamiliar routes I might want to do later.

    Since have paroxysmal a-fib, it's also good to know if my HR has gone into Z9!

    I think about improving performance if only to beat a couple younger riders (65 year-olds) in sprints during our group rides, but since we ride in a group about 4 times per week, there's little time left for interval work, even if I felt like doing it. At 71+, I find a few days off work wonders for recovery, then I feel rejuvenated and am ready to go again.

  19. #19
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    The HRM is a good tool, like the power meter, cadence meter and any other meter you can use the data if used properly can make you stronger. Training is an important part of fitness and training includes easy/fun rides. Putting a few suffer fests into your week is not a bad thing, they make you appreciate those soft pedal rides even more - even racers don't make a steady diet of them.
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
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  20. #20
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    I'm a used to use a heart monitor guy. Back when I worried about such things I did intervals, hard days, recovery days, blah, blah. How I just ride to enjoy, commute to the gym, run errands and such. I even gave up replacing the batteries in my bike computer. I do keep a log which I fill in by checking google maps for distance and check my cell phone clock before and after the ride.

  21. #21
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

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  22. #22
    Slogging along rubic's Avatar
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    Perceived effort is really how I track my performance, along with mileage, elevation gain and all that stuff. However, I do use a HRM and find it useful if for no other reason that I am a biological experiment of one. Then again, I work in the medical equipment business and an HRM is one of the most basic instruments out there, along with the tongue depressor, thermometer, and, well,
    you get the idea. So why not use one of these for play?

    Oh, and or the record, I do not race. I do need to study the 'Where to retire' thread....
    Last edited by rubic; 06-02-12 at 04:04 PM.

  23. #23
    Northern Rider nondes's Avatar
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    I have just finished a 29-mile charity ride. I figure if I pass more Cervelos than pass me I'm doing OK.

  24. #24
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nondes View Post
    I have just finished a 29-mile charity ride. I figure if I pass more Cervelos than pass me I'm doing OK.
    What's it like? I've never done that before.

  25. #25
    Pedals, Paddles and Poles Daspydyr's Avatar
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    If the name of the bike maker ends in "O" and I pass it I feel really good!
    I think its disgusting and terrible how people treat Lance Armstrong, especially after winning 7 Tour de France Titles while on drugs!

    I can't even find my bike when I'm on drugs. -Willie N.

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